EU Agrees To Let Users Access Netflix, Inc. Across Borders

EU Agrees To Let Users Access Netflix, Inc. Across Borders
NFLX Photo by Matt Perreault

Netflix consumers will be grateful to European members for a recent approval. Europe, which is already popular for its propensity to share things within its member nations, is now extending citizens’ rights to Netflix as well. Such a move enables customers to access their subscriptions tostreaming services like Sky, Canal+ and Netflix even when they are traveling.

Good news for Netflix fans

On Friday, the EU announced this move, representing the latest attempts of the governing body to cancel digital barriers between the 28 EU countries. Recently, the member states endorsed the proposal, but the European Union has not approved the law officially yet. Still, the proposal appears to be a promising step towards full legality on May 26.

Even though the streaming giant is already present in many different countries across Europe, its content is generally curated to match local preferences. This means a French user in Germany would not be able to see his or her normal queue unless they use a virtual private network (VPN) or other workaround. This new law would change that.

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Now subscribers to Netflix and other streaming services will be able to see content they have purchased when they are traveling abroad temporarily. The exact definition of “temporarily” has not been made clear yet, but hopefully the term will be addressed by the time the law goes into effect in 2017. The European Union hopes that the countries will abolish roaming charges for mobile phone service among the member states in the same year as well.

Broadcasters and rights-holders worried

Broadcasters are a bit less excited about the idea, but fans and consumers will probably be quite happy with this news. The rights-holders of some content are quite concerned about the copyright law, reports Reuters. Also the reports say rights-holders are concerned about what this new free-for-all means for licensing. If the programs are made readily available across several countries, then broadcasters will possibly worry about increasing prices for content.

Rights-holders are worried that this notion might erode the principle of territoriality. However, the bigger worry for them is the Commission’s upcoming reform of EU copyright law that aims to improve users’ access to content in other countries. Nevertheless, as streaming services like Netflix become even more popular across Europe and around the world, it appears natural that the European Union would give people what they want.

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